Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Who's the Best... James Bond?

Karen: Make your choice and state your case. I'll go with Connery, just because he was able to play it both smooth and rough so convincingly.

Doug:  Breaking news -- the role of Wonder Woman has been cast for the 2015 Man of Steel sequel (commonly referred to as "Superman vs. Batman").


Edo Bosnar said...

Not nearly as big a Bond fan as I used to be as a teen, but I think the answer's obvious: Connery.
Karen's explanation for why is the best, he just really owned the role.

david_b said...

I was never a huge Bond fan, but after seeing a smattering of Connery films on television, I went to see 'Live and Let Die', my first Bond film in the theatre primarily due on McCartney's hit.

As Moore's first outing as Bond, he sure had a tough story to do. Many elements of the film (urban settings, voodoo mysticism) worked against the grain of the traditional Bond formula, so hats off to ol' Roger for making it succeed. And jeez did he look young back then.

I'd agree with most that Connery mastered it with both his charm and intensity, a pretty hard combination to match in later actors. I loved Moore and Brosnan, but neither really had the intensity of Dalton or Craig; likewise neither of these guys have much British charm.

My 20something nephew's much more into Bond, and his favs have been Dalton, Craig and Connery.

William said...

My wife likes Roger Moore best, but I'd go with Connery, because he defined the character, and made it what it was.

There have been many other competent Bond portrayers since Connery, and I think Timothy Dalton doesn't get enough credit for his stint, as I quite liked all the movies he was in.

However, after Connery, I like the new Bond, Daniel Craig, best as I think he's the first actor since Connery to bring something really unique to the role.

The Bond movies were becoming corny and predictable, and Craig came along and revitalized the franchise by playing Bond as more of a streetwise badass, posing as a refined gentleman, instead of the other way around.

William said...

Boy, I got a little crazy with all the commas in my last post. Sorry, about, that, every,body.

MattComix said...

Honestly, I like Brosnan.

Doc Savage said...

I read the books first and find Timothy Dalton to be the closest to actually playing that character. Sean Connery was good. Moore got saddled with awful scripts and insisted on cornball one-liners, ugh. Craig is playing a generic action hero. Brosnan had bad scripts and overemphasis on explosions over plot and character so hard to say. Lazenby was all right.

Greg said...

My favorite Bond movies are some of the early Connery's, but I'm not sure he's my favorite Bond. Moore edges him out as my favorite, although its close. I like Connery because, as others have said, he defined the role and was tough and smooth at the same time. Moore brought the wry humor and wit, which I enjoyed. I thought some of the Moore films in particular (not all) were just fun too.

I can watch some of those Connery and Moore films countless times, but I can't really do that with any of the later ones (post- Moore).

I liked Brosnan too, thought he was a great Bond, but didn't actually like any of his Bond movies.

Anonymous said...

Moore was the best Simon Templar, but I will probably always consider Connery to be the "real" Bond. Moore's films kept getting sillier and campier (more campy?), and the ones with his successors seemed to be trying to tone it down. In fact, the two with Dalton looked like they were trying to make James Bond movies for people who didn't like Bond movies. Craig is the first Bond since Connery who actually looks like the proverbial guy you don't want to meet in a dark alley. Judging by comments here, Lazenby and Barry Nelson never made much of an impression.

Anonymous said...

Lazenby for sure

Anonymous said...

I actually liked Moore better. But I think there were only two really good films during his run, Live and Let Die and The Spy who Loved Me. The rest, not so much, but I don't think that was necessarily his fault.
One problem was that Moore was probably to old to play Bond, anyway; he's actually a few years older than Connery.
Still, he was great and so was Connery.

Anonymous said...

I really don't like James Bond anymore, but over the T-giving weekend when the rest of the family went to bed early I watched the most recent one, Skyfall, on streaming. I had seen Casino Royale and didn't like it and skipped Quantum of Solace, but I had heard this one was good. . .

Wrong. Perhaps the WORST Bond movie I have ever seen. It made Octopussy look like Citizen Kane - which made me realize the over the top campiness of the Moore era is my favorite.

The Daniel Craig era is just too serious to take seriously for super-spy stuff - plus in the latest one the stakes were so small, so provincial I could not bring myself to care I mean, hell, the villain's plan is to discredit M and then kill her - Guess what? He succeeds.

Plus I double hate the idea of Bond being the orphan of some landed gentry like Bruce Wayne - I prefer a mysterious origin for him and the idea that multiple men have been "James Bond" over the years.

Anonymous said...

What, no love for George Lazenby? By all accounts he gave a creditable performance despite 'not being a real actor' as he himself once said.

As for the innumerable Connery vs Moore comparisons, both brought their own take on the Bond character - Connery had a steely toughness while Moore had a roguish charm at times. I'd give the nod to Connery here only because the later Moore Bond movies sucked. Brosnan had the looks but he didn't have Connery's toughness. Craig is probably a return to the Connery type portrayal.

Richard Maibaum, one of the early producers of the series once said that Connery was never the first choice to play Bond as envisioned by creator Ian Fleming. Connery was described as a 'rough, tough Scottish soccer player' who didn't fit the bill of the smooth, sophisticated spy. According to the producer, Fleming envisioned a more genteel actor like David Niven in the role!

- Mike 'agent WD40' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Doug said...

I am having a really hard time picturing David Niven kicking some arse...

Or getting the girl...


Karen said...

Niven does it all in Casino Royale! Still one of the strangest films I have ever seen -or really, films, because it clearly is several movies rolled into one.

Moore was actually my 'first' Bond, via Live or Let Die, and I thought he was pretty good at first, but once I got a little older and saw Connery, there was no comparison. He really got across that sense of ruthlessness which made him dangerous. Plus Moore got progressively more clownish as his films went on.

Sorry for any gaffes with the images today -it looked fine on my computer, but we noticed problems on certain other devices. I see Doug has inserted a new image, so hopefully that one is looking good on everything.

As for the Wonder Woman casting - another super-scrawny model. No way does she evoke the Amazonian warrior to me. She doesn't even look like she could lift up her magic bracelets, let alone fight!

Rip Jagger said...

Best Bond is Connery.

Now that's settled. The battle for second is now won by Daniel Craig. The series is once again must-see thanks to his talent and the turn in the series to rough tough storytelling.

Third is Pierce Brosnan, who was both tough and smooth.

Fourth I give the nod to Timothy Dalton who is better than he is given credit for. He has the same vibe as Craig, but with lesser filmmaking (not his fault).

Sadly Roger Moore falls in the ranks because of the dreadful ironic tone of most of his movies despite my liking his early efforts which are surprisingly tough.

George Lazenby was okay. The others, blah.

Rip Off

Edo Bosnar said...

Since Mike from T&T mentioned Fleming and his own vision of what Bond should look like, I'll commit heresy here by saying I really don't care. When I went through my Bond phase as a teen, I started reading the books as well, but I could only manage to finish three of them: Casino Royale, Live & Let Die and From Russia, With Love (the only one I kind of liked). I found them really boring - not at all thrilling, which is what spy novels should be.
In fact, this is one case where I diverge from my usual preference for books over movie versions: the Bond movies are definitely better than the books.

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